From the moment the New Orleans Pelicans drafted Nerlens Noel with the sixth overall pick in the 2013 NBA draft, the former Kentucky forward has run into an unfortunate string of bad luck. He was traded to the Philadelphia 76ers on draft night during the early days of The Process, and while that isn’t necessarily part of his bad luck string, Noel missed his entire rookie season recovering from ACL surgery. When Noel was finally healthy, the fit with Joel Embiid and Jahlil Okafor in a crowded 76ers frontcourt just didn’t work out.
Noel was traded to the Dallas Mavericks last February, and while his on-court play was promising, some bizarre contract negotiations from thi past offseason have seemingly soured the Mavericks and Rick Carlisle on investing in Noel long-term. The two sides eventually came to terms on a one-year, $4.1 million qualifying offer, which will allow Noel to enter unrestricted free agency this summer.
Despite the fact that the Mavericks have the worst record in the Western Conference, and Noel being a young player on their roster, he’s been a non-factor for the team this season. Over the last 13 games, Noel hasn’t played more than six minutes once, and has seemingly fallen out of Carlisle’s rotation entirely.